Hunting for the best Cities Skylines mods? Since modders have flocked to Colossal Order’s city-builder, Cities: Skylines, we’ve decided to root around and find the best buildings, roads and maybe a field or two to add to your burgeoning metropolis.
At the rate mods are coming out, we might miss a couple of brand-spanking new ones, so make sure to shine a spotlight on your favourites in the comments. And with Cities: Skylines - After Dark releasing today, be sure to check back as we update this list with new mods using assets from the expansion.
Extended Public Transport UI
With the Extended Public Transport UI you can peer at bus routes and metro lines uninhibited and with reckless abandon. What a wonderful universe we inhabit where this is a thing. You can browse lists of bus, metro and train lines, toggle visibility of all or individual lines with a mere click and choose what transport lines to hide. Total, megalomaniacal control, people!
Traffic Report Tool
Skylines will grant you a fairly broad overview of how traffic is operating across your city, but if you really want to fine tune your roads and operate your junctions at their maximum efficiency, the tools provided by the Traffic Report mod will help. You can spy on an individual vehicle's routes through even the most complex of motorway interchanges, allowing you to tweak and adjust your streets to give AI drivers a more pleasant commute.
City Vitals Watch
This one's rather straightforward, adding a handy configurable panel that displays all your city's most vital statistics at a glance. Things like real-time stats on service usage and citizen safety are all there. Don't worry your little head about it.
Automatic Bulldoze / Automatic Emptying
This pair of mods seeks to automate two frustratingly manual aspects of Skylines. The first will automatically bulldoze any buildings that are abandoned or burnt out, the second will automatically empty any dumps or cemetaries once they're filled. Maybe you enjoy that level of micro-management and would rather not relinquish control of your dumps 'n' husks to an unthinking AI subroutine, or maybe you would. You are captain of this mod ship. You do as you please.
The Flight Cimulator mod allows you to take control of one of the passenger airliners that zoom about above your city. Combine it with the Los Santos map, as the mod's creator has done in the above screenshot, and you'll feel that lovely rush of warmth that only the infinitely configurable realm of PC gaming can give you.
All Spaces Unlockable
This mod removes the already quite generous 9-tile cap on city limits, allowing you to build on all 25 of your map's tiles. Handy if your urban sprawl gets out of hand, or if you simply like turning a bunch of squares blue. A word of warning, however: unlocking all of the tiles might put quite a bit more strain on your CPU, so this is not a mod for older rigs.
This mod does so little, but changes so much. As the author puts it, Chirpy Exterminator "gets rid of Chirpy, the bird we all love to hate". RIP you little blue bastard.
This was the first mod I grabbed, before the game had even launched. A surprising number of folk with early access to the game tried their hand at making new content for it, but AleX-BY’s Orthodox church, based on the real building from Ukraine, was the most striking. Skylines mostly contains modern, culturally neutral buildings, so this adds a bit of flavour to cities.
Elevated Pedestrian Roundabout
Gosh, I do love my roundabouts. Skylines does that to a person, making them obsess over intersections and efficient transport networks. Xcell Miguel’s roundabout spares a thought for pedestrians as well as vehicles. Citizens don’t always jump in cars and buses; sometimes they like to walk to work. The elevated pedestrian roundabout lets people rise above the traffic and noise, but mostly it’s just rather pretty. Here’s an even bigger one from MaxC.
Large Agricultural Field
You can turn areas into farming districts, which then spawn farms, fields and orchards, but they’re all bloody tiny. Jesper’s field is quite a lot larger, and actually looks like a field rather than a big garden. Unfortunately, it’s only cosmetic and won’t crop up naturally. It is, however, free and has no upkeep costs. If you want to create countryside regions and big farming areas, this bit of window dressing will make them look the part.
Maastricht City Hall
Another building that does away with Skyline’s modern aesthetic. Xave’s imposing Maastricht City Hall can add a bit of history to your 21st Century city. It doesn’t replace any other government buildings, and can be found in the 4th tab of the unique buildings menu.
Gula’s Coal Plant 01
This brown, brick coal plant was designed by an ex-SimCity artist. It’s an appropriately ugly industrial building, and it’s been created with a bit more thought than a lot of the mods, which are a wee bit game-breaking. This coal plant generates more electricity, but that’s balanced out by an increased cost and more noise pollution.
Los Santos from GTA V
In my review, I bemoaned the lack of striking maps, but had faith that, once people got their hands on the map editor, we’d get to see something a bit more special. Grofellar’s GTA V map is exactly the sort of thing I was thinking of. Lots of different terrain and elevations, forests, deserts, coasts -- it’s an impressive map.
Another mod from AleX-BY, this is a stoic alternative to the regular, futuristic hospital. The stats are identical, but it looks dramatically different. It doesn’t replace the regular hospital, though, so you can have both. I’m in the process of making a Soviet city using this, along with other Soviet-era buildings and monuments from AleX-BY, and red wind turbines, of course.
There aren’t many entertainment-specific buildings in the base game, so DasMatz’s circus should be a welcome reprieve from the dull existence of your citizens. Of course, After Dark adds a slew of tourist and leisure buildings (like zoos!) for your citizens to race to, but I still love this pokey, wee circus.
Bloody hell, planting trees is tedious work. Once you’ve selected a tree, you have to place each one individually, making it a laborious process. The tree brush tool from Destroyer solves that by smearing trees everywhere. You can increase and decrease the size of the brush, too, so you can create forests or tiny parks.
Cities: Skylines has an impressive amount of street-level detail, but you miss so much of it when you’re up in the clouds. Even zooming right in leaves you a bit far from the action. Nlight’s first-person camera, while not placing the camera at human head level, does get you pretty close to the street, and you can control it with the WASD keys and the mouse. It’s a lovely way to get you know your city.
Alright, that’s your lot for now. But I’m sure there are plenty of great mods not on this list, so let us know in the comments.